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  • Blended Services



    I was just wondering if any of your churches have tried to add Praise Choruses to the regular morning service? We have two services each Sunday morning; a Contemporary Service (all Praise Choruses) and a Traditional Service. We want to keep the traditional style while adding some newer songs. For as many that like this, there are just as many that don't like it. I collect hymnals and have over 1,100 of them. I like to see the children's songs in these books as they are considered the new hymns. Many of them are now considered our old hymns. I wonder if the problem of getting new songs for the church is as old as the Church itself?</P>


    To make our service "modern" we use media. All of the words to the hymns, Doxology, Gloria Patri, and the Lord's Prayer etc.are on the screens. I even have the title of the Offertory on the screens. The bulletin has not changed the hymn numbers are still announced. The congrigation can use the book or the screens. </P>


    As I ask before, have any of your churches made these changes? If so how did you do it and howdid it go over?</P>

  • #2
    Re: Blended Services



    [quote user="Hook &amp; Hasting"]As I ask before, have any of your churches made these changes? If so how did you do it and howdid it go over?[/quote]</P>


    One church I used to play for was so large, they decided to go to two services on Sunday AM. However, they decided to make the services EXACTLY alike. BIG MISTAKE!!!</P>


    The risk you run into is that the choir, musicians, nursery help, volunteers, ushers, "special" music, and everyone else ends up doing double-duty on the "day of rest." I would strongly recommend that the two services be different (rather than hybrid). Contemporary for one service, and the other Traditional. That doesn't mean that there cannot be some crossover, but they should be made as unique as possible--allowing for everyone to worship in an atmosphere comfortable for them.</P>
    <UL>
    <LI>Traditional--May wish to forego the projection screens and use hymnals. They may also wish to forego the drum set, and high-powered amplifier. Not to mention the tape/CD accompaniments for solos--use live.</LI>
    <LI>Comtemporary--May wish to forego the hymnal and incorporate the guitars and drum set. Tape/CD accompaniments for solos would work.</LI>[/list]


    The church I mentioned above had to go back to one service, lost their youth pastor, and now has no choir, pianist, or organist, and is roughly half full. Consider the consequences before making the decision.</P>


    Hope this helps.</P>


    Michael</P>
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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    • #3
      Re: Blended Services



      You are right about the double duty. </P>


      The only thing the same in both the Contemporay service and the Tradidional service is the sermon. The Cont. service uses only the electric piano. (Not me.) The organ is very seldom used in this service. The Trad. service uses the organ (me) and the grand piano. On the occasion that I play for both services, I am very "drained" by the end of the day.</P>

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      • #4
        Re: Blended Services



        At my church we have one service and we blend contemporary and traditional together. I play piano and synth during the service. I did occasionally use the Hammond C3 (without Leslie) but it just didn't blend well and we have removed it. Before anyone has a heart attack I am donating my classical Galanti organ to the church so that we can actually use the organ more and the C3 is going to the wife of a retired pastor. The Galanti organ has an AGO console and a stoplist that will allow me to broaden the range of music I can include.
        </p>

        We try to find hymns and choruses that go together and we move from one to the other without breaks. It takes practice and sometimes you start at the chorus of the hymn or the praise song, rather than starting at the verse. Sometimes you update the tempo on the hymns (gasp) but if you are fortunate to have good musicians you can do this. I have been blessed to have many good volunteer musicians and singers to work with.
        </p>

        I have been doing this type of thing for 16 years at a couple of churches and have had some success with this.
        </p>

        Some Sundays the blend is heavy on Hymns and some it is heavy on choruses. </p>

        The congregation often is singing during the offertory and about twice a month we will go straight into the Doxology after the offertory song. (A nod to tradition).</p>

        We are an evangelical denomination (Christian and Missionary Alliance) but we have also done a contemporary liturgy service complete with Gospel reading, a Kyrie (sung in a contemporary praise song "Have Mercy on me O Lord), the Lord's prayer, the Apostle's creed and communion-where people come down front. It also helps that our pastor came from a Lutheran background.
        </p>

        Another Sunday was done plainsong and a capella. </p>

        We have also done Gospel music Sunday with all the old hymns and some of the better Gaither songs.</p>

        I guess my goals are to praise God, and also to expose people to to different ways of thinking about worship and to not focus on the form, but rather the subject of our worship.</p>

        The biggest reason any type of service will fail is because the music leader doesn't have their heart in it, or doesn't understand it. Too many leaders (amature or professional) don't understand the theology of the song, or they don't understand what works as a solo and what works as a congregational song. Too many choruses used today are really solos and are too convoluted to be sung by a congregation. Other songs are so vapid and empty that they don't even belong in a camp meeting. </p>

        Some leaders don't have the sense to balance song choices against what their instrumentation will be. Some folks are not willing to turn anyone away from the "teams" and they have people of little ability musically on the platform. Drums are horrible if your drummer thinks he's in Led Zepplin or if he hasn't learned to count. If your guitarist only knows country rhythms then every song will have that twang. Fortunately my 2 main guitar players know their theory and styles. My youngest guitarist who was 15 when he started in the group can play everything from Bluegrass to Johnny Be Good and Stairway to Heaven. He floored me one Sunday when I was playing "Beulah Land" (as a prelude) by keeping up with the chord changes without music.
        </p>

        Having a small ensemble of 4 or 5 good singers who can harmonize is better than an unbalanced choir of 10 sopranos, 15 altos one tenor and 3 basses. Use some musical common sense!
        </p>

        I have even used children's songs (This Little Light of Mine, Jesus Loves Me, This is My Commandment That You Love One Another, etc) in services, because some of these songs have easy to remember messages, easy tunes and some pretty good truths. </p>

        This past Sunday the final two songs of the worship music were the hymns "My Faith Looks up to Thee" and "O to be Like Thee". They were done A capella with a strong soprano and tenor on lead, a strong alto, myself on tenor and a strong bass. We were using microphones (which requires a different technique than choral singing) and had words projected on the screen but also invited people to follow from the hymnal as well.
        </p>

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        • #5
          Re: Blended Services



          We have 4 morning services every Sunday at my UMC. The first 3 are in the Sanctuary, and the later one is in the Family Life Center. The 0845 service is led by our Youth Choir anduses upbeat contemporary music and traditional hymns (blended, I guess). The 0945 and 1100 services are identical and mostly traditional in nature. The Adult Choir provides the music for both, but most of the time is excused before the sermon at 1100 (after all the special music is finished). All 3 of these services do use an occasional Praise Chorus for Benediction responses or for special purposes during a service, but traditional hymns are the norm. Every so often we have a real barn-burner anthem with instrument ensembles (strings, brass, and/or percussion) at the Adult Choir services and the congregation really loves it. The last service, at 1105, is Contemporary all the way--praise bands, praise choruses, arm waving--all of it. The Senior Pastor delivers the same sermon at all 3 Sanctuary services, and the hymns are usually the same. We are experiencing growth in attendance at all of the services, so we must be doing something right.</P>


          Our Adult Choir has about 125 singers on the books but it is rare for more than 60-70 to be present at non-special (Easter, Christmas) services. This level of participation is not really large enough to split between the 2 services they support--30-35 singers in our front choir loft would look ridiculous because it can seat 100 easily. The goal is to achieve a size of 175 singers or more, which would allow for maybe 50-60singers at each service without requiring double duty--our director would then stop releasing the choir early at the 1100 service (a practice we all think is wrong--the congregation at that service deserves full musical support--but impractical at present).</P>


          David</P>

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          • #6
            Re: Blended Services



            If you already have a contemporary service why would you try to make the traditional service contemporary?</p>

            </p>

            I hate "praise choruses." The lyrics are often so mundane as to not offer any sort of theological inspiration. They serve a purpose as a sort of praise mantra so to speak. But to comprise a whole service of nothing but them would get old very fast. There are many great songs for contemporary services with great lyrics. Sure, they will take a couple go rounds for the congregation to learn them, but I would imagine at least some of them would know the common ones already.</p>
            Finally self-published some of my compositions! https://www.createspace.com/3734555
            Piano and organ videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CurtisBooksMusic

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            • #7
              Re: Blended Services



              We are not trying to make our traditional service contemporary. Unfortunately, most people today expect everything to be "hi-tech". Media seems to be the thing now days. Our hymnal was published in 1995. There are new hymns and some contemporary songs that we want to use and we don't want to buy new hymnals. Even if we did use all contemporary song for the traditional service, therewouldstill be abig difference in the services. </P>


              As was mentioned in another thread we are not a singing generation. Outside of the choir, there very few people that sing parts on the hynms in the church today. Most don't know one note from another, so put the words on the screen and let them "make a joyful noise before the Lord".</P>

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